Commandant’s Veterans Day message

The following ALCOAST message was released to all Coast Guard personnel by Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Bob Papp and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Michael Leavitt.

Arlington National Cemetery is shown as the sun rises Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Arlington National Cemetery is shown as the sun rises Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

Veterans Day was established as Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the Allied victory and honor the heroism of service members killed during World War I. Veterans Day is now a time to remember all those who have answered the call of duty to protect and preserve the promise of this great Nation.

For over 223 years, the men and women of the United States Coast Guard have answered the call. Over the past year, we remembered and honored many of those who gave their lives in service to our country. At Aviation Training Center Mobile, we dedicated a monument to the crew of Coast Guard Helicopter 6535. At Training Center Cape May, we dedicated Bruckenthal Hall, in honor of Damage Controlman Third Class Nathan Bruckenthal, who was killed by a terrorist bomber in 2004 while serving his second tour in the Arabian Gulf. We observed the 35th anniversary of the loss of our shipmates aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Cuyahoga and the 70th year since the loss of the Escanaba to an enemy torpedo. We also gathered to say farewell to BMCS Terrell Horne III and CDR Ray Evans, two Coast Guard heroes a generation apart who each embodied the very best of our Service.

Even as we pause today to remember their service and that of all veterans, we must also remain mindful of those who continue to stand the watch whenever duty demands.

In keeping with our long tradition, many in our Coast Guard family will gather at the Coast Guard World War Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery to honor our veterans. The Coast Guard World War Memorial recognizes the crews of the cutters Seneca and Tampa who lost their lives in combat during World War I. We recently rededicated this restored memorial to their sacrifice following the tremendous leadership of our Washington D.C. Chief Petty Officers who championed repairs to damage done by many decades of weather and exposure. Through their efforts, our memorial is once again a worthy tribute to those who gave so much and serves as an enduring inspiration for all Americans. I encourage all those in the Washington, D.C. area to bring their families to Coast Guard Hill in Arlington National Cemetery at 1400 EST on 11 NOV and join us in observing the manners of our profession as we pay tribute to our veterans.

Thank you to all Coast Guardsmen and veterans from all U.S. Armed Services for your selfless service protecting our freedoms and your continuing contributions to our Nation.

Semper Paratus.
Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant, and Master Chief Michael Leavitt, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard

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